So we are back at my friend Makesh’s place, this time with a new scenario. Makesh has ditched his Technics SL1210 and is looking to replace it with something new, err old. When good sense says that he should buy a new turntable, he defies logic and sticks to being stubborn with his intent to buy an old and abused piece or pieces in his case but more on that later.
He takes the arduous route of scanning for some junk err I mean used equipment and finds a pair of Lenco L75’s which he decides to buy sight unseen, simply because they are offered for cheap which makes him happy, so he pulls the plug on both, one is in its original stock state whilst the other is a pile of parts which he intends to use as a donor for fixing issues if found with the one intact.
Since these L75’s are going to take time in reaching India, he decides to look for a stop gap turntable that he can use to spin his ever growing collection of records. He finds one that strangely appeals to him due to its darkened dust cover(which is broken and hence colored to hide this aspect – tricks of the used equipment trade you see) and also due to the fact that the tone arm shape appeals to him. Great! Off he goes and pulls the trigger to acquire this Akai turntable.
In the meanwhile he hunts for a cartridge which ironically he wants to buy new, but here too the twist of fate ensures that the order placed on Amazon is cancelled and he lands himself with a used and what was declared as Nagaoka MP50, but no it’s an MP30, Splendid! Now comes the cameo role that I’ve to play as he needs an audio hack to fix the cart and get the Akai going so am off to his place to do the needful. All connected and we spin Al Green’s Greatest Hits, But 1103/04, we have a problem! Al ain’t sounding too happy and nasally, which leads us to the good ol’ Lehmann Audio phono pre which is still in MC setting as per his Denon cart back with the SL1210 days, which we have conveniently forgotten to change as per the Nagaoka’s MM requirements. Out comes the Lehmann Audio manual which says, hey we are German and we like to do things that are difficult and confusing, so Makesh advises me to change the switch positions as per the manual. Still no joy! Being impatient as usual, I play with the switches much to the chagrin of Makesh who is now getting dismayed at his choice of purchases and of involving me in this scenario, but wait. All is not lost, the fingering of the switches on the Lehmann Audio has suddenly done something good, Al Green sounds as he should, his nasally voice is now in full force and so is ARR with Vande Mataram, followed by Explosions in the sky, Shaan OST, Razia Sultan OST, DSOTM, till Makesh gets a little side tracked and switches sources to his Philips CDP, but that does not last long as now his rig with the source set to analog sounds alive and kicking. I tell that to him but he is still not sure of it sounding good and as is in his nature, he wants to change interconnects, gain settings on the Lehmann Audio and so on, his eternal search for something else continues….
I leave in a happy frame of mind whilst Makesh is back to his doubts and with a what next question mark in his mind. The battle rages on….